Clone of Air quality matters and all that is inhaled

I Wed Jan 19 2022

Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International | Times of India | January 19, 2022,

Varun Pahwa is President DRI. DRI is a global provider of components & systems for Energy Recovery, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Evaporative Cooling, Dehumidification & Green Buildings.

With the coming of the winters the issue of poor air quality has again become a huge concern for people across India. Also, with Covid-19 hitting the world, people are spending more and more time indoors to protect themselves from the deadly virus. The fog coupled with smoke forms smog envelopes the city with bad air quality. Due to the chilly winter air, people resort to spend maximum time indoors to protect themselves from cold weather as well as the poor air quality outside.

But staying indoors is not that easy, the way it looks. Due to the poor ventilation, or presence of molds have increased the chances of developing ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ that gives rise to serious health issues and overall wellbeing. It is also responsible for wide range of issues like breathing problems, lethargy, pain in the eyes, and other long-term illnesses.

People need to be aware that the indoor air gets easily influenced by the outdoor air and is 10 times worse and harmful because of restricted air flow in the enclosed area. It is not just the metropolitan cities which get affected but even the surrounding cities face the menace of poor indoor air quality.

Industries like healthcare, construction, factories, hotels, airports, are more likely to experience poor air quality due to their packed, and complex structure which does not support the influx of fresh air. Moreover, being commercial spaces, often these places are huddled with large crowds which further deteriorates the IAQ.

As we spend more and more time indoors, mostly in centrally conditioned spaces such as office complexes, homes, malls, hotels, restaurants, auditoriums and various other closed premises, building management systems are dealing with not only contaminants/pollutants generated indoors but also have to ensure outdoor pollution like PM 2.5, PM10, VOCs as well other gaseous contaminants are not brought inside conditioned spaces through conditioning systems.

Given that the major cause of poor IAQ is the lack of clean fresh air in the buildings which only gets worse with the presence of moisture, ensuring proper ventilation is the best solution to improve the indoor air pollution. It dilutes the contaminated air indoors by utilizing the fresh air from outside. With the help of this approach, we thoroughly clean the outside fresh air and introduce that into a building, maintaining positive pressure in the building.

To ensure proper ventilation, HVAC&R systems must be installed which offers wide range of advantages. It not just renders acceptable indoor air quality but also provides thermal comfort in the enclosed space. The system employees advanced desiccant technology that uses hygroscopic substances to suck moisture from the air in order to maintain the proper RH and cools down the indoor spaces.

One of the primary benefits of this technology is that it tones down the air according to the requirement of the given space. The Energy Recovery systems ventilate the conditioned spaces without compromising on air conditioning load. Owing to this mechanism there is substantial reduction in the use of energy and utility costs.

In addition to the installation of the HVAC&R system, people must be agile enough to adopt green building designs. Green Building Councils across the globe are playing a critical role in promoting awareness and certifying the importance of Indoor Air Quality in our day to day lives. The advanced buildings help in striking the right balance in the indoor air quality that does not compromise on the comfort of the people but at the same time coherently contribute to reduce the energy consumption of the building with the help of green products. These buildings are most viable solution as it highly maintains proper relative humidity (RH) and prevents any growth of mold, mildew in the enclosed atmosphere.

With advanced systems in place and efficient air purifying systems, maintaining good indoor air quality, even in large spaces has become a cost effective and doable affair.

Air quality matters and all that is inhaled

I Thu Jul 22 2021

Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International | Construction Week | July 22, 2021

Varun Pahwa, President, DRI-Pahwa Group, jots down a few points on ways to adopt environmental control solutions.

Green products used in the HVAC industry, their importance and accessibility

The primary focus of any green building is to reduce the energy consumption of the building. HVAC systems have the largest consumption of electricity in the building. To reduce the energy consumption of the HVAC system. In hospitality industry, the entire focus is on guest’s comfort and well being. To strike the right balance between comfort and energy savings, wide range of green products are available. These could be high efficient chillers, providing variable frequency drives on motors, high efficient fans etc.

Apart from energy consumption, the second most important parameter of green building is Indoor Air Quality. DRI specializes in various systems that maintain good indoor air quality in hospitality sector. These include Energy recovery systems for ventilating the conditioned spaces without compromising on air conditioning load. DRI Energy Recovery systems are focused on Enthalpy Wheels based systems. Our FlexAir range of ERVs and TFAs incorporate Enthalpy Wheels for Energy Recovery.

In hospitality industry maintaining proper relative humidity (RH) is important to prevent any growth of mold, mildew, which causes foul smell in guest rooms. DRI provides systems that maintain proper RH in hospitality sector to prevent this problem. These systems help in reducing the operating costs of HVAC systems & maintain good indoor air quality. DRI is an Indian company & all its products are made in India. Accessibility of these systems are not an issue.

Ways to conserve energy, lower costs and increase productivity through arctic coolers

Arctic Coolers are aimed at cooling large industrial and commercial buildings, where initial and running cost of air condition systems is expensive. Using Arctic Evaporative Coolers with EcoCool Evaporative Cooling Pads with high saturation efficiency, long life, self-supporting, highly adsorbent and can be easily cleaned.

Especially in the case of industrial and commercial buildings, with the increasing cost of power and energy, choosing an efficient air treatment system that is also environment friendly, is an important decision.

Arctic coolers are capable of lowering the air temperature by at least 7-12 degrees and also facilitate cool fresh air to circulate through a building. Arctic Innovative Evaporative Cooling system is a solution, which offers completely natural way of delivering refreshing and cool air. Arctic coolers are trusted cooling solution provider for industries and commercial applications.

Unlike traditional air conditioning which operates on re-circulated air, the Arctic Innovative Evaporating Cooling system uses fresh air and works as part of a well-balanced ventilation system. This becomes even more relevant in today’s context, with Covid-19 concerns at the forefront. A better air quality environment also leads to better comfort & productivity and better health which are leading concerns for businesses today.

Adaptation of green building solutions by architects

Green building could be defined as “the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health by providing better indoor environment Quality (IEQ).

With progressive economy, new building technologies began to transform the urban landscape.

The Green Building movement is driving the HVAC community to look at innovative solutions for reducing the energy cost and better IEQ (Indoor Environment Quality). The ventilation and air conditioning system which is a key component in Green Building design is on the verge of a paradigm shift.

This shift is providing designers opportunities to explore energy efficient designs. The new initiatives are aimed at improving health, comfort and productivity.

Integration of DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System)/Treated Fresh Air Units: TFAs, with parallel terminal system offers a migratory path from the single all-air variable air volume systems.

Bad indoor air quality, their effects, and solutions

Poor indoor air quality leads to an increased incidence of health related symptoms, which in turn can lead to an increase in absenteeism and a loss of productivity. Some of most common symptoms can be related to “Sick Building Syndrome”.

Health effects from indoor air pollutants fall into two categories those that are experienced immediately after exposure and those that do not show up until years later.

The lung is the most common site of injury by air borne pollutants. Acute effects, however may also include non-respiratory signs and symptoms, which may depend upon toxicological characteristics of the substances and host of related factors.

In recent years, the attention of environmental researchers has been focused on indoor air pollution, as a result of reports of symptoms or specific diseases that occur mainly in air conditioned and mechanically ventilated buildings. Studies have proved that level of contaminants in the indoor air can be often several times higher than outdoor air. This combined with the fact that people tend to spend 90% of their time indoors, proves the point that a person’s major source of exposure to airborne contaminants can be indoors.

The solution to the problem of pollution is dilution or increased ventilation, runs contrary to the energy conservation guidelines being followed by air conditioning designers. In hospitals and nursing homes, the ventilation standards require 100% fresh air and higher number of air changes per hour.

Air quality can be improved by designing systems that provide air virtually free of dust, dirt, odors, chemical and radioactive pollutants, bacteria, virus and humidity buildup. Designers while planning air conditioning systems need to keep these design criteria in mind.

Hotels with good IAQ in demand post covid

I Sun Jul 11 2021

Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International | ET Hospitality World | July 11, 2021

According to the World Health Organization, indoor air is often more seriously polluted than outdoor air. When it comes to the hospitality industry, maintaining good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is important for the hotel environment for many reasons, some of which are potentially significant for the property’s growth. With COVID-19, wildfires and overall poor air quality, there has been a pent up demand for the hotel industry to provide options for rooms with better filtration and purification. Clean air automatically leads to higher levels of well-being allowing travellers to feel more energized during and after their vacation.

We spoke to Varun Pahwa, President of Desiccant Rotors International Pvt. Ltd. (DRI) to know the importance of a good HVAC system in the hotels and how his company is aiding the demand.

ETHospitalityWorld (ETHW): What are the green products used in the HVAC industry, their importance and their accessibility for the hospitality sector?

Varun Pahwa: The primary focus of any green building is to reduce the energy consumption of the building. HVAC systems have the largest consumption of electricity in the building. To reduce the energy consumption of the HVAC system. In the hospitality industry, the entire focus is on guest’s comfort and well-being. To strike the right balance between comfort and energy savings, a wide range of green products are available. These could be high efficient chillers, providing variable frequency drives on motors, high efficient fans etc. Apart from energy consumption, the second most important parameter of green building is Indoor Air Quality. DRI specializes in various systems that maintain the good indoor air quality in the hospitality sector. These include Energy recovery systems for ventilating the conditioned spaces without compromising on air conditioning load. DRI Energy Recovery systems are focused on Enthalpy Wheels based systems. Our FlexAir range of ERVs and TFAs incorporate Enthalpy Wheels for Energy Recovery. In the hospitality industry, maintaining proper relative humidity (RH) is important to prevent any growth of mold, mildew, which causes foul smell in guest rooms. DRI provides systems that maintain proper RH in the hospitality sector to prevent this problem. These systems help in reducing the operating costs of HVAC systems & maintain good indoor air quality. DRI is an Indian company & all its products are made in India. Accessibility of these systems is not an issue.

ETHW: Ways to Conserve Energy, Lower Costs and Increase Productivity through Arctic Coolers in Hotels?

Varun Pahwa: While the hospitality industry for starred hotels is well organized, there is a large number of hotels in mid-size or B class towns which cannot afford air conditioned systems because of the initial cost as well as the running cost. For them, air cooling is the best solution. ARCTIC coolers are designed with high efficient evaporative cooling pads to provide comfort to the guests. Hybrid HVAC systems which use Eco friendly technology like evaporative cooling along with air conditioning are also being applied in hospitality industries in areas like kitchen, laundry etc. Arctic Innovative Evaporative Cooling system is an environment friendly solution, which offers a completely natural way of delivering refreshing and cool air. Arctic coolers are trusted cooling solution providers for industries and commercial applications.

ETHW: Tell us the ways of adaptation of Green Building Solutions by architects for hotels?

Varun Pahwa: The hotel industry has been moving towards green designs, Environmentally-friendly construction practices shifted focus on conserving resources, water, energy and started to overall help and contribute to saving the environment. The importance and need to conserve has become evident due to the current situation in the world. Architects designing hotels are being forced to consider the green building concept, everything from designing, construction, operations to the demolition of the building. Providing a better and healthier environment is also one thing that tops the list in a green building, along with the LEED green building rating system.

Some considerations that help the architects in hotels are sustainable site planning, solar orientation, storm water management, high-efficiency HVAC system, green supply materials, waste reduction and management, use of recycled materials, etc.

ETHW: How can bad indoor air quality affect hotels?

Varun Pahwa: Indoor air quality in hotels has been a huge concern, especially in a post-Covid scenario as restrictions move towards relaxation. Even before the pandemic, in the hospitality sector, the experience and comfort of the customer has always been key. If the indoor air quality is not maintained, it will not only affect the staff but also the guests. Foul smells are common in hotel rooms.

Bad indoor air quality can lead to multiple issues including affecting both employees and customers, which can have a negative impact on a hotel’s reputation. The safety of guests is a serious responsibility. Bad air can cause many issues including breathing problems, lethargy and other long-term illnesses. Even for the hotel staff, if the air quality is not good, apart from health issues of working in such a space, their productivity will also decrease massively. However, with advanced systems in place and efficient air purifying systems, maintaining good indoor air quality, even in large spaces is possible.

Desiccant Rotors International does its bit for ‘Ecosystem Restoration’

I Sun Jul 11 2021

Desiccant Rotors International | IndiaCSR | 5 June 2021

NEW DELHI: DRI has organized a drawing competition among the children studying at DRI and Bry-Air Pathshalas to celebrate. Desiccant Rotors International (DRI) is a global provider of products and systems for energy recovery, IAQ, fresh air treatment, evaporative cooling, and green buildings.


DRI along with Bry-Air, flagship companies of Pahwa group, has been focusing on restoration of our EcoSystem through various initiatives, viz plantation drives, reclaiming and reforestation, to increase green cover and thus improving quality of air.


The latest is the afforestation in Kadooki village, Alwar, Rajasthan where a forest of more than 500 medicinal and fruit-bearing trees is under development. This will help in re-greening of the area as well as being able to provide fruits for the locality.


1500 pomegranate trees were planted in the arid region of Barmer, Rajasthan which are now providing sustenance to the farmers, who sell the fruit and earn their livelihood.

Almost 7 acres of Sanjay Van, Delhi was restored in order to:

Restore and conserve the native Aravali vegetation with the plantation of local species of trees like Dhak, Khair, Khejri, etc.

Trees raised – existing native trees (approx. 25,000) by dispersing seeds, nurturing / transplanting germinated saplings.

Selective planting of Fauna friendly vegetation

Cleaning of discharged sewage water/ effluents from ponds

Emphasis to plant appropriate vegetation all around water body

Introduction of bird friendly fishes in ponds

The Pahwa Group CSR is also active in various WASH activities to provide clean drinking water and sanitation to the communities they serve. This includes installations of Community Water Centres, CWCs, in various villages in Haryana and Rajasthan. The clean and cool drinking water obtained from these plants helps to eradicate water-borne diseases, and also provides a livelihood to the villagers who are able to sell the water for various events like marriages in the surrounding villages.

DRI and Bry-Air are in the process of building more community WASH facilities, as well as setting up check dams, which will help to prevent soil erosion and support groundwater recharge, especially in arid regions. In keeping with UN SDGs, the group has also installed 15 CUM size Rainwater Harvesting Structures at Literacy India Vidhyapeeth premises. This rainwater harvesting structure is helping to save over 5.89 lac liter per year. This is additional to the companies’ water harvesting activities at their own locations.

One of the core objectives of the company is to directly impact communities through CSR initiatives. These mainly focus on Vision (Eye Care), Education, Environment and Sustainability. Bry-Air & DRI in association with their NGO partners have touched over 56,000 lives in the last 10 years, directly impacting and enhancing quality of life.

Anandita Pahwa, Group CSR Head mentioned that “The theme of World Environment Day 2021 is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ and that has been our special focus this year by conservation and restoration so that the green cover around us is increased and quality of air we breathe is less polluted.”

Social Responsibility is deeply ingrained in our company culture.

On this World Environment Day, we would like to highlight environment and sustainability as a hugely important aspect of the work we do. It is our job to conserve and safeguard our resources for future generations, actions small and big all count towards achieving this goal.

She also released a video showcasing these initiatives and development work in the field of Environment.

Bry-Air and DRI sets up vaccination camps for employees and worker

I Sun Jul 11 2021

Sonali Dutta, VP-Corporate Affairs and HR, Bry-Air | BW People | April 08, 2021

The vaccination drive was initiated as per the government protocols; vaccination for 45 yrs and above. The company tied up with Medanta Hospital for the programme, which covered their manufacturing plants and offices; Gurgaon and Manesar.

Bry-Air and Desiccant Rotors International (DRI), the two flagship companies of the Pahwa Group announced in their New Year Message 2020 that as soon as the vaccine will be available in the open market, they would make it available to the employees, in a quick and graded manner.

So, as promised the companies organised camps for Covid-19 vaccination for its employees and workers in Delhi NCR. The vaccination drive was initiated as per the government protocols; vaccination for 45 yrs and above. The company tied up with Medanta Hospital for the programme, which covered their manufacturing plants and offices; Gurgaon and Manesar.

The Pahwa Group, which has 4 companies under its umbrella, Bry-Air, DRI, Delair and Technical Drying Services (TDS) made available the vaccine free of cost.

Speaking on the initiative, Group Chairman Deepak Pahwa said, “Vaccination is important to create a safety net and develop immunity against the virus. The health and well-being of our employees is our top priority, we want to assure that our employees are inoculated and protected from COVID-19 disease.”

We are amazed at the response. Most of the employees in the prescribed age voluntarily came forward and participated enthusiastically in the vaccination drive. Corporate culture goes beyond just working together, and aligns with positive values and goals and establishing a culture of caring. Vaccines will help us achieve a new normal, as India quickly seeks to return to post pandemic goals, said Sonali Dutta, VP

– Corporate Affairs & HR.

Rise of Green Architecture Buildings: Leveraging the sustainability buzz for India’s future generations

I Thu Apr 01 2021

What makes green architecture buildings important in today’s world? Spanning the world at large, green buildings and green architecture are gaining momentum across the world.

What makes green architecture buildings important in today’s world? Spanning the world at large, green buildings and green architecture are gaining momentum across the world. Take for example, Australia’s iconic Pixel building, which is the country’s first carbon neutral office. At first glance, the green building sported panels with eye popping colours that maximized daylight while providing shade and supported wastewater processing, a roof that captured rainwater and had vertical wind turbines.

Another notable example is the world’s tallest building – yes, the Shanghai Tower, known to be not only an architectural wonder but a sustainable green building model which uses less power than other skyscrapers and also comes with a platinum LEED certification.

So, what’s creating the buzz for green architecture in India?

And more importantly, for the Indian context that is riddled with multiple challenges at various levels, what exactly does green architecture imply?

What is Green Building Architecture?

According to Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International (DRI), “Environment-friendly ‘green’ sustainable designs, architecture and construction have become institutionalised with the availability of several building certification programs. These certifications provide a framework and targets of energy footprints to be achieved. We can now measure outcomes in real time and validate how green a building is. The adoption of new technology, tools and software with the aim of enhancing productivity and providing innovative energy smart solutions has become an essential part of ‘green’ architecture, as the need to reduce carbon and emissions footprints continues. This is valid across residential, commercial and industrial projects.”

Why is Green architecture important?

According to Dikshu C. Kukreja, Managing Principal, C. P. Kukreja Architects, which ranks among the world’s top 100 architecture firms, “Green architecture uses sustainable design practices for construction, utilizing locally available building materials and climatologically responsive techniques to derive best possible design solutions. This approach has significantly gained momentum in the past few years with a growing concern of harmful effects of building construction on the environment.

He adds, “As we look around, we realize that more and more cities across India are very soon going to be unlivable. I believe it is as much the responsibility of an Architect to design a new building as it is to be able to disseminate information and knowledge across society, on pertinent issues which affect us today or shall, in times to come.”

Notably, India’s hospitality industry is taking new strides in this regard. Recently, ITC Hotels became the world’s first hotel to achieve LEED Zero Carbon certification! This is a stellar example of how India’s hospitality industry is demonstrating excellence in reducing carbon footprints and nurturing impactful, sustainable practices.

Setting the global context on reducing carbon footprint and highlighting the role of technology in achieving sustainable golds, Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International (DRI) told Financial Express Online, “With the focus the world-over on control of emissions, there is growing recognition that resources are scarce, and the move towards reducing carbon footprints is no longer an option but a necessity. Innovation and technology are playing key roles in achieving these goals, right from the conceptualisation and design stage and in compliance with international standards and norms. Indian markets have already seen growth in sustainable solutions across sectors. As the move towards achievement of UN SGD goals becomes more pronounced, ‘green’ is the need of the hour.”

Commissioned New Platinum Certified Green Factory Building

I Mon Mar 22 2021

Rahul Aeron, AVP-Sales, DRI | Cooling India | March 22, 2021

Rahul Aeron, Assistant Vice President, DRI talks about products, new air cleaning mechanisms technologies while sharing responses with Gopal Anand from Cooling India and predicts that he is seeing an increase in demand from the healthcare sector in new normal times.

What is your perception about indoor Air Quality market and post pandemic, what changes do you foresee in IAQ market?

The IAQ market has been growing steadily over the last few years. Some of the major factors fuelling the growth are ‘Green Buildings’ incorporating sustainable design, increasing levels of outdoor pollution, growing awareness of health/productivity benefits of good indoor air quality etc. This has resulted in lot of air cleaning equipment being used for maintaining indoor air quality while compromising on ventilation rates.

The pandemic has reinforced the focus on ventilation and the age-old saying “Dilution is the solution for indoor pollution” has again found its relevance. Post pandemic, we foresee the ventilation rates would be increased and wherever possible, 100% outdoor air systems will be designed/ used. Also, as health and safety takes a front seat, HVAC systems in buildings need to be able to deal with not just pollutants but also the ability to maintain the right humidity. In order to avoid growth of viruses and allergens, such as mold and mildew, which may release spores that directly affect humans, buildings are integrating advanced HVAC systems. Air cleaning mechanisms will also see a lot of new technologies and usage of technologies, like Ultraviolet rays (UV), Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO), Needle Point Bipolarization etc.

What is the product line-up of Desiccant Rotors International Pvt. Ltd. (DRI) as well as products especially suited to Indian market?

DRI specializes in providing innovative air solutions for conditioned and unconditioned indoor spaces. DRI’s “Green” products help optimize energy performance of the air conditioning systems. These products result in a considerable reduction of installed tonnage, reduction in utility bills for the product’s entire life cycle, enhanced IAQ and productivity, and reduced health risks. DRI products also help procure rating points for energy certification programs like Green star and LEED.

DRI’s centralized coolers also provide comfort on the shop floor level at an economical rate by enhancing ventilation and cooling the air.

Some of our products are:

  • Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems and Treated Fresh Air Unit (TFA) incorporating Energy Recovery Wheels
  • Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs)
  • Evaporative Cooling Pads (ECPs)
  • Ducted Centralized Evaporative Coolers
  • Indirect-Direct Evaporative Coolers

Has the market share of DRI products been impacted in the last 9 months of literal inactivity? Now, what prospects do you see for market share of DRI products in respective segments?

We were able to work through most of the initial lockdown last year, as our industry and many of our activities come under essentials. This, coupled with the pandemic induced growing focus on air quality and ventilation with regards to health, has not really caused any fluctuation in our market share. We are seeing an increase in demand from the healthcare sector, which of late, has become even more important. As usual, we always have continued to be a company whose products are: Made in India with sense of pride for India and the world.

Has the market share of DRI products been impacted in the last 9 months of literal inactivity? Now, what prospects do you see for market share of DRI products in respective segments?

We were able to work through most of the initial lockdown last year, as our industry and many of our activities come under essentials. This, coupled with the pandemic induced growing focus on air quality and ventilation with regards to health, has not really caused any fluctuation in our market share. We are seeing an increase in demand from the healthcare sector, which of late, has become even more important. As usual, we always have continued to be a company whose products are: Made in India with sense of pride for India and the world.

Please brief us about current activities of Pahwa group flagship companies DRI and Bry-Air, that showcased air treatment solutions at Acrex 2020. As you may know, now there is strong emphasis on fresh air due to coronavirus. What is your say?

Pahwa Group comprises four companies that are the pillars: Bry-Air, DRI, Delair and Technical Drying Services (TDS). These companies are focused on industrial air treatment solutions and commercial building air conditioning products. Our products are manufactured in India for the world.

DRI products mainly focus on the commercial segments, for instance, healthcare, hospitality, commercial buildings, any large conditioned space and factories. DRI provides indoor air quality solutions for commercial buildings like hotels, hospitals, malls, airports, offices. Economical shop floor cooling systems are also part of our portfolio.

DRI has been at the fore front for supply of Treated Fresh Air Units (TFAs) incorporating Energy Recovery Wheels. Also DRI’s ‘Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS)’ helps ventilate the buildings as well as maintain relative humidity inside the buildings. The latest addition to the family of DOAS is a range with refrigeration systems on board which not only saves energy but also uses waste-heat to remove the moisture from air.

Bry-Air and Delair equipment are mainly used by all industries viz., pharmaceutical, F&B, defence, electronics, packaging, cold storage and other industries.

Could you highlight about DRI's portfolio of fresh air treatment systems and Evaporative cooling products?

‘Treated Fresh Air Units (TFA)’ also sometimes referred to in the industry as Fresh Air Handing Units (FAHU), are energy-efficient and offer significant savings. TFA are designed to treat the outside air using filters, and condition it to some degree using a cooling system, for providing fresh air to the environment. Our FlexAir TFA’s aim to create a ventilation system with low running costs and its advantage of energy recovery in turn cuts down air conditioning costs. These units include the Ecofresh Molecular Sieve coated Heat Wheel inside, which provides a complete solution for IAQ and energy saving in a single unit, with the option to add modules for cooling, heating, humidification, high efficiency filtration, mixing, sound attenuation, etc. The wheel slowly rotates between its two sections, conditioned air is passed through the wheel allowing the stale air that gets exhausted. During this process, the wheel absorbs sensible and latent energy from the conditioned air, which is used to condition (cool/heat) the incoming fresh air in the other section, during the second half of its rotation cycle. Thus, you can have more fresh air at lower humidity levels and energy costs inside your conditioned space. These TFAs are suitable for all climates including cold/dry, as well as hot and humid. They can be used in a number of spaces across industries such as hotels, bars, restaurants, hospitals, nursing home, operation theatres, supermarkets, department stores, office buildings, conference facilities, schools, auditoriums and so on.

In reference to ‘Evaporative Cooling Products’ evaporative cooling utilizes the basics of air and water to produce a very significant temperature drop. One of the main advantages of an evaporative cooling system is that it provides fresh, clean air. An evaporative unit circulates outside air and filters out all harmful dust particles and allergens. Hot fresh air is taken into the unit through wet EcoCool Cooling Pads. This cool humidified air is discharged indoors. DRI Arctic range of evaporative cooling units can also be specifically designed for the cooling of industrial and commercial buildings. These are capable of lowering the fresh air temperature by 7-12 degrees, for example the air-off temperature from the evaporative cooler for an outside temperature of 40-430C degrees can be lowered to as much as 28-300C degrees. This allows cool fresh air to circulate throughout a building forcing the stale hot air to be displaced. Unlike air-conditioning which operates with re-circulated air, Arctic coolers operate on the principle of air change and work as part of balanced ventilation system. This can be a highly efficient system, consistent in performance over a very long life.

Could you elaborate upon energy recovery systems and demand drivers for your products, while apprising about export activities too?

DRI Energy Recovery systems are focused on Enthalpy Wheels based systems. Our FlexAir range of ERVs and TFAs incorporate Enthalpy Wheels for Energy Recovery. Need of improved indoor air quality; need for productivity increase in workspaces; are some of the demand drivers. DRI’s 50% revenues are from exports, and we are now regularly exporting to almost 80 countries including US, China, UAE, Korea etc. We have exported systems as well as Energy Recovery Wheels, Desiccant Wheels and cooling systems to some of the most prestigious projects in the world.

The manufacturing activity came to standstill during the pandemic period. Summing up that, could you detail about the facilities and R&D activities as well as DRI's participation in Eurovent Certification Program and Rotary Heat Exchangers?

Our manufacturing facilities are running full stream. We have just commissioned our new factory, which is a Platinum certified Green Factory Building. It is spread over 1,61,120 sqft., of built space.

We aim to be best in the world, especially in terms of product quality, performance, and innovation; so we invest a lot in R&D. We have six state-of-the-art test labs in Gurugram, and we are really investing a lot in innovative materials, concepts and testing laboratories, to test and verify product innovation.

DRI has been participating in both the certification programs for Rotary Heat Exchangers – AHRI & Eurovent.

DRI is an active member of the Green Building movement contributing to its activities spreading the concept. Could you detail us about the same? What has been DRI contribution towards this movement?

We are constantly conducting research and development activities to enable our products to be innovative, cost effective and most importantly sustainable. As the Green Building movement gains momentum, especially in India, we are likely to see even the standards and regulations provided by the authorities; adopting more and more sustainable methods and practices. We are regular participants in panel discussions, knowledge exchange sessions and informational sessions to help raise awareness about the concept of Green Buildings, for example ISHRAE holds regular round table sessions on various aspects of HVAC including sustainability, and quite often we are participants in the same.

What recovery momentum do you see for HVAC industry and what do you vision during new normal period?

The industry is picking up and is in revival mode, as we return to a new normal with appropriate health and safety guidelines in place. While the recovery may not be full until the vaccine rollout has much higher coverage. India is a country that will undoubtedly show a quick turnaround.

Energy Smart Technologies With Global Footprints In HVAC

I Tue Mar 09 2021

Let us look at definition of the term “SMART TECHNOLOGIES” and what it entails. A basic definition of smart technology is that it is a technology that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analysis to provide cognitive awareness to objects that were in the past considered inanimate. It is a very wide subject.

For the purpose of this article we will focus on Energy Smart technologies, which are key to the sustainability and Indoor ‘Environment’ and influence the design of buildings, especially green buildings, and thereby transforming the urban landscape. Architects, designers, MEP consultants, developers and builders, HVAC engineers and IT professionals are working in tandem to ensure that the building envelope is sustainable which entails building eco-friendly, cost effective, energy efficient spaces.

Commercial spaces which are now built all over India, not only in the metros but also, in the non-metros are built to provide comfort conditions to the people working in then irrespective of the weather outside throughout the year. The challenge is to optimize and design systems that are beneficial to both the occupant and consider energy efficiency and cost effectiveness. The end-user and therefore the government agencies’ focus, is to scale back the energy footprint.

Energy Smart HVAC systems play a very important role in a green building to reduce energy consumption, deliver a comfortable and healthy work environment.

With progressive economy, new building technologies began to transform the urban landscape. The advent of air conditioning, low-wattage fluorescent lighting, structural steel, and reflective glass made possible enclosed glass-and-steel structures that could be heated and cooled with massive heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, thanks to the availability of cheap fossil fuels.

The economic boom accelerated the pace of this phenomenon, to the point where the international style ‘glass box’ became the design icon of cities and rapidly growing suburbs. However, a small group of forward-thinking architects, environmentalists, and ecologists, began to question the advisability of building in this manner.

Keeping this in mind, never before has the shift to sustainability and green alternatives been more

highlighted than in today’s post COVID world. Governments both domestic and internationally are mandating more ventilation. Thus, energy smart technologies and products, which allows more ventilation, provide comfortable and healthy work spaces and uses less energy. With regards to the HVAC sector, there are a number of smart technologies that are already in play.

  • Using Evaportaive Cooling spaces for factory cooling and ventilation and in spaces where air-conditioning is not needed
  • Using hybrid systems specially for adaptive comforts
  • Using renewable sources such as Solar and geothermal systems
  • Various types of desiccant ehanced systems.

And of course, all these with Smart controls

Integration of DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System) or Treated Fresh Air Units (TFAs) with parallel terminal system that offers a migratory path from the single all-air variable air volume systems. For example, active chilled beams combined with system design suitable for tropical climate, the DOAS becomes an excellent choice to address IAQ (indoor air quality), and humidity control and help buildings become green. Additionally, EnergySmart technologies that can keep track of indoor and outdoor temperatures in real time, can help to provide actionable insights that allow smart HVAC systems to adjust temperatures and make needed adjustments to ensure minimal energy consumption and optimize use of resources for negligible wastage. IP enabled products also play a large role in efficiency, integrating legacy systems, enabling cloud based usage and tracking and tracking data to enable high levels of performance for both complex and simple buildings.
Energy Smart HVAC systems play a very important role in a green building to reduce energy consumption, deliver a comfortable and healthy work environment

Smart technology is making an appearance worldwide on the HVAC scene, as this becomes more prominent, it is important to take note of standard codes from authorities like ASHRAE and ECBC that ensure best practices. HVAC systems are undoubtedly integral to green buildings. With the advent of all these new technologies, the horizon is filled with new and exciting possibilities. Unparalleled advances in mobile, cloud-based, AI and IoT technologies are heralding the advent of data analytics that has a direct impact on the way a building maintenance and operations are imagined, engineered, created and run.

It offers the opportunity to create preemptive strategies using these insights to ensure best efficiency and sustainable solutions. With the climate crisis at the top of the list, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals become of deeper significance as we work toward a sustainable, kinder future. Companies, industry bodies and governments alike are investing and supporting initiatives like these, to ensure a better greened future for the next generation.

'Smart' HVAC solutions increases overall Lifecycles

Built spaces are becoming ‘smart’ and smart technologies are being introduced to traditional HVAC solutions to not only make new spaces ‘smart’ and sustainable but also, to enhance and save running cost in existing utilities.

Sensors and controls using AI become main pillars of smart products and buildings, reducing or even eliminating wastage of resources, lowering and mitigating unexpected maintenance costs, leading lower downtime through predictive maintenance and thus, improving the overall lifecycle of the HVAC systems.

The Electronics interview: The Air Treatment Business

I Tue Mar 09 2021

Environmental control solutions are a vital part of today’s world – be it the residential, commercial, or industrial domains. In this exclusive interview with The Electronics, Varun Pahwa, president, DRI – Pahwa Group, shares insights on the sector and why he is optimistic about India’s strengths in the sector in the years to come. (Edited excerpts)

Tell us about DRI and the space you operate in?

DRI is part of the Pahwa Group. One of our group companies is Bry-Air which has its origins in the USA. DRI provides solutions and products, essentially for sustainable or what are now called green buildings. The product folio caters to reducing the energy consumption of buildings, especially commercial buildings, and also focuses on providing ventilation and fresh air to the occupants.

What are desiccant-based technologies, your products are based on?

Desiccant-based air technologies are fairly niche, globally. However, they are being adopted all over the world, because people see the benefits, especially when it comes to humidity management. South Asia and Asian countries (in general) face high humidity levels compared to Europe and North America. So a lot of the design work we do for a building has to do with humidity loads, that’s where desiccants can play a very important role. Desiccant is something that can absorb water and give out water as well. So, with desiccants at the core of technology of any HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, you can control humidity better, provide better comfort to occupants of the building, and also go a long way reducing the energy footprint, both, in terms of running cost and also the first capital expenditure of any equipment.

You are a global provider of components, products, and systems for energy recovery, indoor air quality, fresh air treatment, evaporative cooling, humidification, RH control and green buildings, energy recovery ventilators, and treated fresh air units. It’s a big portfolio. Tell us what all is happening on these fronts?

When we think of air conditioning, we typically think of only cooling. However, it goes beyond that. A lot depends on which part of the country you are in. We could be dealing in air cooling, air heating, air cleaning, which is the filtration of clean air in terms of particulate matter, now a major concern in cities like Delhi.

Also, we can talk in terms of humidifying the air or dehumidifying the air. Humidifying air is where we add moisture to air and dehumidification is where we are reducing moisture from the air.

India is a very large country and we see all types of climate, especially if you take the 12 months. So the challenge is how we optimize and design a system that is good for the occupants, all year round, and also energy efficient because that is the key focus across the board. The end-user and the government agencies’ focus is to reduce the energy footprint. So, all our products are catering to these two aspects providing clean air, as much as possible fresh air and at the same time reducing the energy footprint of the building.

So there is a huge scope in the country, and proudly, we are global leaders in this field. We do export globally, right from South Korea to Brazil to Canada. It’s backed by research. We are proudly researching in India, producing in India, and producing products for the world from India.

In terms of being “AatmaNirbhar”, the government has taken several steps. Do you think that there is anything additionally required for the sector?

‘AatmaNirbhar’ means different things to different companies, given portfolios, sectors they play in, markets they play in. So, I will specifically talk about what AatmaNirbhar means to us. We are today an export-oriented company, we explore global markets and provide quality products. India, of course, is a very large market for us and we will continue to grow. At our end, AatmaNirbhar is to see that our supply chain from our vendor-base is something that we look at sourcing from within India. So, that’s what we can do at our end as a company which is already exporting, to indigenize our own supply chain. I think the government is doing their bit, but at the end of the day it’s up to the corporates, up to the companies to evaluate and see, and handhold their vendor-base and take initiatives abroad for exporting. So there is a lot more we can ourselves do.

We are talking about newer technologies. Is your sector affected too by new technologies?

The air conditioning sector has traditionally been the old economy sector, the brick and mortar sector. We haven’t seen game-changing innovation that one sees in terms of AI or electronic hardware, or mobile phones. But then, in our space again, innovation is happening and the innovation is towards more energy-efficient products, providing lower energy consumption, and ease of use and adaptability. There is definitely innovation happening, but it won’t be right to bundle it with the same innovation that you see in Silicon Valley, or Bangalore, or in the software or the hardware side of electronics.

What’s your sector likely to be in the next decade?

Our sector gets split between residential solutions, commercial solutions, and industrial solutions. The next decade for India and all the fronts for the air conditioning products is very optimistic. We are in a growth economy, and all these sectors – as residential buildings come up, commercial buildings come up, new factories get put up – we will require good environmental control and energy-efficient environmental control. We can only look forward. So as a company, as a corporate, as a group, we are very optimistic about our own domestic market, and I think that will always be our first priority.